According to the report titled - Reworking Work: Understanding The Rise of Work Anywhere by Atlassian Corporation Plc, 83% of employees in India are still nervous about going back to the office while there’s no vaccine and restrictions are still in place.
The study commissioned by Atlassian and conducted by Australian research agency PaperGiant, highlighting the changing work practices of individuals, teams, and organizations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, is an extension of the previous global survey conducted in early 2020 with knowledge workers in Australia, USA, Japan, Germany, and France using observational, qualitative, and ethnographic research methodologies. In India, 1,425 participants from tier 1, 2, and 3 cities were surveyed for over four weeks in October 2020.
As per the research findings, Indian employees were more likely to want to work completely from home (66%) than any other country surveyed. While people are still managing new challenges that come with remote work, many reported a sense of ‘relief’ being free from the usual presenteeism of the office environment. 70% of people reported their job satisfaction is better than before COVID-19 restrictions. In fact, 61% of employees find it manageable to effectively work at home during the COVID-19 restrictions.
With all the positives surrounding remote work, the study also revealed that a majority of Indian workers (78%) were actually worried about what their home life looks like to their colleagues and what it says to them.
A core finding mentions that 86% of employees in India thought the members of their team feel closer to each other now and 75% thought their team worked better together compared to pre-Covid. People are sharing more personal experiences with their team. The majority of Indian employees (89%) reported a feeling of unity and cohesion in their team.
Another insightful revelation was that 1 in 2 (50%) of managers said their job security was much better now than before COVID-19. The pandemic has triggered a shift in managerial roles and managers are feeling more integral to workflows and productivity than ever.
Dinesh Ajmera, Site Lead and Head of Engineering, Bengaluru, Atlassian said, “The research findings point to how the ‘new normal’ will shape work, relationships, and collaboration in the future. These are the voices of real people facing real complexities. Now is our opportunity to use the insights we have been presented with to adapt for the better, guided by the experiences of employees around the world.”
Consistent with the industry sentiment on digital adoption seeing a quantum leap during the pandemic, the study reveals that Indian employees are rapidly adopting digital toolkits and skills for the worry of being left behind. The introduction of social distancing and remote working has accelerated the move to a digital-first environment, forcing people to adapt.
From an organizational perspective, 88% of Indian employees believed their company was already well prepared for returning to the office, while 78% of the workforce in India were annoyed that it took a pandemic to allow them to work from home. While from a work-life balance standpoint, 81% of people in India say it’s more difficult to maintain boundaries between work and personal lives, compared to 79% in Australia and 58% in the US.
These results point to the complex but overall positive outlook of India’s workforce towards remote work. Leaders should keep these opinions in mind as they plan what their future work set-ups will look like.